Monday, 19 April 2010

Naalbinding and Nuno Felting Workshop

 It was the monthly meeting at my Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers on Saturday. After a lovely news and views and catching up with friends, we had a guest speaker on Naalbinding which was great to have a go at. I'd read around this ancient craft some time ago and was interested to have a go.

Naalbinding needle
A hat on display - made in the naalbinding technique

Naalbinding (which has many other names too) predates knitting and crochet, and is very different to both of these. It has a long history of use by the Vikings and Romans, and many other ancient times. It is not easy to grasp at first and our guest speaker said it can take up to 3 months to really get the hang of it. Lots of us had a go, with varying results and some frustration ... but it was fun. I came away with a needle so will be having a play and practice again some time.

After lunch was the long awaited felting workshop with one of the members who is an experienced and very talented felter. She had set us up with a nuno felting project, which was laid our fantastically and her instructions and encouragement were great, she had a couple of helpers going around too, all offering advice, instruction and encouragement.

bag of goodies

We were all given a small bag of fibres, bits of fabric, bits of spun wool and a piece of muslin cloth as the backing. We had a picture of some flowers for inspiration and a plastic folder to lay our design on so we could see it before felting. I can't tell you how much fun this was. I was sat with a couple of friends and we were having a great time, laughing and designing.

This is my design before the felting began

Half felted - awaiting shocking in hot water 
and then a bit more rubbing, throwing and shaping

The finished article, dried at home

So versatile too, as our mentor said, they can be made into anything - purses, covers for books, bags, cut into squares to make a patchwork, cut into squares to use to make cards ... the possibilities are endless, and all with only a few resources. It's also a great way to recycle all those little bits of fabric and wool left over from projects that you don't know what to do with. This ticks another box for me - recycling.

This was so much fun, and easy. I think I shall have to do some more of this at home, and involve Imogen too - I think she will love trying this. I think I may do some again soon with lots of pictures of the stages. I have some from the Guild but with other members and their work so probably not fair to pop them on my blog without asking. Watch this space ...


  1. wow, so wonderful .. clever you xxx

  2. Very impressive - it is something I will do with James when he is a bit older. Really interested in the naalbinding - I had read about ti a while ago too, so thanks for showing that. x

  3. I've never heard of naalbinding before. The felting looks lovely.

  4. The felting is beautiful.


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